One of the most common rat species in Chicago, and throughout the world, is the Norway rat. These rats are also known as brown rats, and they have lived alongside humans for centuries. In fact, they’ve adapted to thrive around us and to use our homes as shelters. They survive off the crumbs of food we leave behind, and they are voracious omnivores that will eat all kinds of things.
Norway rats are great swimmers that spread throughout the world over hundreds of years because of their ability to survive on ships.
Unfortunately, Norway’s rats are still prevalent today, spreading disease and property damage. So, to help protect you and your property from these pests, we’ve put together this guide on how to identify and prevent them.
What Do Norway Rats Look Like?
Brown rats have brownish-grey fur with cream-colored underbellies, and their tails are relatively short and scaly. Their ears are rather small and scaly, too, and they can reach up to 15 inches long. They are usually found near ground level because they aren’t very good at climbing.
All The Problems Norway Rats Can Cause
The number of problems Norway rats can cause for property owners is quite high. To start with, they constantly gnaw on all kinds of materials because they need to chew all of the time to keep their teeth from growing too long. Because of this, they can destroy pipes, wires, furniture, drywall, and more. They can also create huge messes as they leave their feces and urine around your property.
However, while the property damage brown rats can cause is extensive, the even bigger concerns have to do with the health issues these rodents bring. Norway rats can be dangerous because of the following reasons:
- They can spread many illnesses, including rat-scratch fever, hantavirus, and more.
- Brown rats can carry parasites like ticks and fleas. These parasites can spread diseases, including the Bubonic plague.
- The build-up of their feces, fur, and urine can lead to respiratory issues.
- Rat infestations cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
From major damage to devastating illness, rats are bad news for Chicago homes.
Five Norway Rat Prevention Tips
Norway rats can be difficult to keep out because they can fit through holes the size of a quarter, and they can also chew their way inside. However, there are steps you can take to prevent them, such as:
- Placing wire mesh over vents and sealing up holes in the walls and foundation with steel wool.
- Keeping kitchen spaces clean which includes wiping up food and drink spills immediately.
- Reducing excess moisture around your property by fixing leaky faucets and pipes.
- Cover all garbage cans with lids.
- Storing pet food indoors in sealed containers.
By eliminating factors that attract rats and reducing ways they can enter your property you can begin to minimize your risk of a rat infestation.
What If You Already Have A Rat Infestation?
If you’re already dealing with an infestation of Norway rats, trying to deal with them on your own can be frustrating, expensive, and dangerous. Instead, let the experts at Aerex Pest Control handle these harmful rodents. With over 70 years of experience, we will eradicate the entire infestation and keep them from returning.
We even offer free quotes, so we make it easy to get started. Just give us a call today.